Cogs of Clamp: Matingou, Carter-Hollinger headline All-FTH Defensive Team
As exciting as St. Augustine was scoring the ball this season, it was their defense that propelled them to an undefeated run through San Diego competition and a second-consecutive Open Division Championship.
The team's ability to defend full-court and rebound against bigger teams allowed them to compete against some of the top teams in the nation.
And while they have four players that could easily be the county's top individual defender, I settled on a two-player tie: 6-6 forward Derrius Carter-Hollinger and 6-3 guard Jaden Matingou.
Carter-Hollinger was the linchpin of the team's defensive effort, and his versatility and toughness allowed the Saints to play much bigger than their listed height. His late defense against 7-0 Jazz Gardner helped the team overcome a late deficit to beat West Ranch in the state playoffs.
Matingou had the responsibility of guarding the opposing team's best perimeter player, and more often than not, he neutralized them. In his final games against San Diego competition, he was tasked with slowing down San Ysidro star Mikey Williams and Montgomery guard Alek Sanchez. In both games, he did just that, holding them welling under their season averages to spark blowout wins.
Here is your All-Full Time Hoops Defensive Team
All Defensive Team
Derrius Carter Hollinger, St. Augustine - Long, sinewy forward could guard 1 through 5 for the Saints and was the glue that held the defense together.
Jaden Matingou, St. Augustine- Arguably the county's best perimeter defender.
Treyshawn Degrate, San Diego - Lockdown perimeter defender and an underrated rebounder for the Cavers.
Devin Hamilton, Montgomery - Freakish length and budding athleticism allowed him to
Kristian Gonzalez, Mater Dei Catholic - Known for his offensive exploits, Gonzalez was arguably one of the region's top perimeter defenders.
Sebastian Flores, Lincoln - Feisty on-ball defender held some of the county's top guards in check.
Kyelin King, Lincoln - King's length and versatility were key to the Hornets' Division 2 title run.
Cole Murray, Carlsbad - Arguably the Palomar League's toughest perimeter defender, Murray excelled as the defensive stopper.
Jeremy Love, Santa Fe Christian - His ability to guard 1-5 as a 5-11 guard was uncanny and key to the Eagles Open Division appearance.
Derrion Manson, Lincoln - Hyper athletic and intense on-ball defender was one of a trio of great defensive players for the Hornets.
Miles Harris, San Diego - Much of the Cavers success hinged on the high IQ and physicality that Harris brought to the point guard position defensively.
Lolo Rudolph, St. Augustine - A defensive stopper in his own right, Rudolph's on-ball feistiness helped shut down opponents lead guards.
Ian De La Rosa, St Augustine - Another extremely versatile defender for Saints, his work on the defensive and offensive boards was huge down the stretch.
Luke Sanford, El Camino - An unsung on-ball defender who racked up steals by the fistful for the Wildcats.
Isaah Whitehurst, Mission Bay - One of the strongest guards in the city, Whitehurst played a pivotal role as defensive ace for the Buccanners.
Euan Davis, El Camino - Long known for his defensive prowess, Davis continued to blanket opposing guards to lead the Wildcats.
Tony Duckett, Carlsbad - One of county's top two-way threats could give you 20 on one end and hold you below your average on the other.
AJ McIlwain, Otay Ranch
Alek Sanchez, Montgomery
Dante King, Mater Dei Catholic
Deuce Sims, San Marcos
Eli Green, Helix
Alex Jenkins, Steele Canyon
Greyson Mundis, Santa Fe Christian
Hassan Anglo, Hoover
Isaiah Owens, Victory Christian
Jack Jillson, Mission Hills
Jaiden Schube, Scripps Ranch
Jake Jackson, Madison
James Wei, La Jolla Country Day
JJ Sanchez, Montgomery
Komari Lewis, Madison
Luke Ball, Bishop's
Noah Sadatmand, High Tech San Diego
Nico Reyes, Montgomery
Princetin Metu, San Ysidro
Quincy Williams, Parker
Quinton Richardson, Victory Christian
Shakur Jackson, Hoover
Shea Fitzgerald, Cathedral Catholic
Terrion Woodard, El Camino
Tristan Guzman, Carlsbad
Zack Jackson, Torrey Pines
LaCiya Garrett, Vista
Wesley Smith, La Costa Canyon